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Writing as a Tool

Writing as a Tool

(p.85) 4 Writing as a Tool
Bending the Rules
Rachel Augustine Potter
University of Chicago Press

Chapter 4 tackles the writing of a proposed rule, investigating how agencies can draft a proposal in a way that effectively insulates it from political oversight. The chapter begins with an introduction to the Regulatory Proposals Dataset, a new dataset of approximately 11,000 rules from 150 agencies, as well as the measures that are used to separate the most important rules from the least important ones. Using these data, the chapter then explores how agencies manipulate the accessibility of a rule as a tool of procedural politicking. Relying on text analysis tools, the results show that bureaucrats write longer and less readable rules when political principals are at ideological odds with the agency and when interest groups serve as more active monitors.

Keywords:   proposed rule, procedural politicking, writing, text analysis, Regulatory Proposals Dataset

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